The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the entire humanity to follow physical ;better known as; social distancing for a better health system. But, the reality is just opposite. Physical distancing has somewhere or other pushed many of the individuals into loneliness in the name of isolation. This isolation leads to a detoriation in physical as well as mental health.
Isolation is the state of being seperated from others. Isolation at an emotional level is quite dangerous for a stable mental health which ultimately leads to lower self-esteem, depression or even anxiety.
Isolation is broadly classified into 2 categories :
- Social isolation
- Emotional isolation
What’s social isolation?
An absence of social relationships in an individual’s life develops social isolation. Social isolation can occur in solitude or in the vicinity of other individuals
Social isolation is often a dangerous and harmful experience for an individual.
This can occur due to :
- Shame /Depression
- Feeling of being alone
- Experiencing social anxiety/fear of abandonment at the thought of interaction
- Lack of social relationships
What’s emotional isolation?
When someone is not able to share their emotions with others, or an unwillingness to share their feelings develops emotional isolation.
This can occur due to :
- Increased feeling of social isolation
- Lack of emotional support
- Negative feelings/thoughts within
- Trust issues
- Over possessiveness
Solitude is healthy experience but loneliness and depression due to solitude is harmful for both physical and mental health.
Isolation can be reduced in the following ways:
- Try to interact more ; defeating shame or depression.
- Develop social contact via networks such as ‘ timebanking’.
- Fight the hidden demon ‘self-doubt’.
Does social media cause isolation?
Social media was developed with a promising feature to help users feel more connected . Unfortunately, researches suggest that social media might have the opposite effect, especially on the mindset of younger users. A study conducted young adults with an age group between 19-32 years in the year 2017 stated that frequent social media users had higher levels of perceived social isolation. The most frequent users were 3 times as likely to feel isolated and depressed as the least frequent users.
However, these researches don’t mean that social media’s use is always harmful. I hope you’re well aware of the famous saying-, “ Every coin has two sides! “ So, be a wise user and use social media as one form of interaction which may reduce not increase isolation.
Now, talking about some of the specific programs that can be of great help in the journey of reducing isolation includes:
- A psychological activity group which involves art, discussions on mental health topics, therapeutic writing, and exercises. This activity group opens door for better functional health (both physical and mental)
- A psychological group dealing with education on better health, coping skills, and management of mental stress in order to reduce loneliness and gain confidants.
Whether or not one likes to admit it, the power and confidence social network provides has a direct effect on an individual’s well being.
Improving social conditions /socialization:-
- Focus on Mental Health : People who focus on their mental health are reported to spend time with those whose company is enjoyable. Quality time with such individuals boost up the confidence and act as water for the delicate plant ‘human brain’.
- Reduce Mental pressure: Eliminating loneliness by either spending time with books, nature, exercise , solving puzzle games etc acts as a tool to reduced mental pressure. These activities help to lead a happy and healthy life.
- Let others count on you : When an individual have something to do, somewhere to go and someone to care, it feels good. Surrounding oneself around people who showers loves make life more exciting and fulfilling. If there is someone to count on you, you are more likely to take extra care of yourself. This is an indirect self-help.
Be a kind , good and dependable friend an individual would want in his/her life. Because isolation gradually turns out to depression and depression might encourage suicide (god forbid)!
Check on your close ones regularly. Call or text them. Take out some time from your busy schedule. Who knows your one call can be someone’s boon!
Support your family/friends both in good and bad times. Shoulder their pain. This is another way to improve socialization on your behalf.
There might be a question haunting within your minds that why is it important to increase socialization. So let me throw some light on the same.
Benefits of socialization:-
- Socialization adds to reduced feelings of isolation : To face some trauma or fear together helps us feel stronger and more optimistic. People who are lonely and isolated are more prone to become overwhelmed with stress and depression. Here, socialization comes forth as an escape route. Individuals feel fortunate when they are connected with their family, friends or even coworkers. Professional connections at times also normalise an individual’s perspective about life.
- Socialization promotes social learning : In the process of connecting oneself with others, we become a better version of observers, watching how people deal with problems they’re going through or how people do what they do. Observations during socialization eventually takes the shape of our own choices and actions. It increases experiences; experiences help to polish relationships and cope with crucial life events.
Finally, with a sense of belonging and by sharing knowledge on how to reduce isolation through the above mentioned points, I’ve tried my level best to socialize. Let’s together provide social support in order to cope with challenges cause, challenges are stepping stones towards success.
Make sure that you remember this sentence wherever you go, “ Socialization plays a powerful role in health and wellness for you, me and us! “
For more information about socialization and reduced isolation click here.
Author:- Komal Kumari from team invertedmirror.com